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Under the Tent with Nadia Bolz-Weber (video)

Watch Krista's unedited conversation with a leading voice in the Emerging Church. Live from the Wild Goose Festival in Hot Springs, North Carolina, this interview is a dynamic 90 minutes of discussion about tattoos and tradition, death and resurrection, and redefining what church is.

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Nadia Bolz-Weber

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I'm a HUGE fan of on being. Love listening to the podcasts, but this, with Nadia, moved me to tears, not tears of sadness, but of utter happiness. That there is a place in this world where people can love Jesus and church and not feel like they are weird or strange or that they have to eventually conform to the church standard to go their. I grew up in church and I loved it. I was a perfect church girl and never had a crazy rebellious streak, but I eventually had to leave church after I felt there were too many rules placed on people to make them inauthentic. I love the loving caring side of church, but I hate the side that makes everyone conform and feel like poop if they don't. I so wish I lived in Denver so I could come be a part of what seems like a beautiful place of love. I'm going to be in Denver in February and am wishing to the universe that I'll get to go and be a part of a beer and hymns night, because that just sounds divine. Thank you for your convictions and sharing them. I'm eternally grateful. <3

As a new On Being listener, Seeing the Underside and Seeing God with Nadia Bolz-Weber was a pleasant introduction. It was refreshing to hear a female pastor that was not only incredibly real, but rather intelligent. Although I do not consider myself Lutheran, I found much of Nadia’s views in line with my own. I was intrigued enough to listen to more of Nadia Bolz-Weber in other audio clips including sermons. She is a wonderful example of what Christianity can look like for those who believe.

Krista, throughout the podcasts that I have listened to, I am humbled by your ability to have a neutral heart in speaking with people of all different religions and spiritual beliefs. Your interviewing techniques are informational and pleasant to listen to. Thank you for providing great profound audio for your listeners to ponder!

It is really hard to express exactly how I felt about this particular show. I sympathize with Nadia to an extent. I understand why she might move away from the teachings of her old church if it did not allow any movies or dancing whatsoever. I think many “conservative” churches have to be careful about what kind of behavior they label as sin. King David danced so I do not understand why some churches considered it a sin (2 Sam. 6:14), unless it was sensual dancing. I also can’t stand it when people treat someone like a leper because they have strange hair, tattoos..ect. With this said, Nadia has strayed from the teachings of Jesus Christ.

This show was saddening to an extent because Nadia spoke about how televangelists have completely missed the gospel, but it became very clear to me that Nadia had completely missed it as well. She preaches a different gospel and the Apostle Paul calls for anyone that does that to be “accursed” (Galatians 1:8). One of the very telling statements that she made was when she said that the cross shows that God would rather die than be in the “sin accounting business.” This paints a picture of a God who is stuck in this situation of being a bookkeeper of sins which leads him to decide that he will die in order to get himself out of it. In actuality, the statement of the cross is that God saw that we were stuck in our sin and since he loved us so much he decided to go and bear the wrath of our sin so that whosoever believed in him would not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). Furthermore, the cross also gave an opportunity for God to be glorified.

Nadia goes on to say that she believes that the cross was the final judgment. This is so unbiblical that I wonder if she completely disregards certain passages of the Bible. If the cross is the final judgment then why do the writers of the books of the New Testament talk about future judgment so much? For example, Paul states that “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Cor. 5). If the cross is the final judgment then why, “When the Son of man comes in his glory” does he come to judge and make war (Rev. 19:11) and why are his garments dipped in the blood of the wicked (Rev. 19:13) (Matt. 25)? Nadia has completely rejected the idea of people needing to repent (as in forsake or turn from) their sins, place their faith in Jesus Christ and submit to him. In other words, she has completely missed important pieces of the gospel. This isn’t to say that repentance is a work that people have to do to be saved; rather it is a work that God does in people when he saves them.

Lastly, I found it very telling when Nadia said that she doesn’t do “faith stuff” at home because she feels that her kids need a break from it. What she misses is that the Christian is supposed to be consumed with thoughts about God and desire for God. Followers are called to pray without ceasing, to forsake everything they have to follow Jesus, and even to love God so much that it appears as if they hate their family in comparison (Luke 14:26). What most people don’t realize is that a Christian is a slave of God. The apostles often referred to themselves as slaves of Christ. Slaves don’t follow their own will; they do what their master tells them to do. A Christian desires to follow God's will no matter what day it is or where they are; they do not leave their faith at church but take it with them wherever they go because Jesus is their life (Philippians 1:21).

Nadia may be attracting different people into the church but, really, this is irrelevant. If Nadia stood up one Sunday and started preaching about the sinfulness of humanity and the need for repentance, I imagine that the vast majority of the congregation would get up and leave. It doesn't matter how many people go to your church. What matters is how many people within your church are true, devoted followers of Jesus Christ. There is this idea out there that everyone who says the sinners’ prayer will be saved. I fell for it when I was young, and hundreds of thousands of people fall for it each year. Folks who don’t recognize their depravity or fail to truly understand their need for a savior say a prayer and go on with their lives. Where is the transformation? When someone is saved their old self is crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20) and they become a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Either someone is a slave to Jesus or they are a slave of their own desires and sin; it's as simple as that (Romans 6:22). I encourage everyone to examine themselves in light of God's word as Paul calls us to do (2 Corinthians 13:5) and ask if they have really been completely transformed by Jesus Christ (do you read your bible often?; do you love God more than your hobbies & friends?; do you pass the tests of 1 John and bear the fruit outlined in Galatians 5?...ect.)

Over all I found this interview to be very interesting I always keep an open mind to whom Jesus could be using in this day and age, I know the average Christian might think that because of her outward appearance how could she be considered a vessel for God, but I happen to know god can use whom he will, it made perfect since to me that a person of her caliber, and back ground would be used in this arena, God can use whatever, and whoever he sees fit for his purpose, I mean let’s face it if he can use a donkey to speak because it was the only available vessel to reach one man, then he can certainly use Nadia Bolz to reach a people that the traditional churches are not reaching for whatever reason. The wisdom I got from this was when I first got save God used a lot of different instruments to get me where I am in my Christian walk today.

I listened to the broadcast of Nadia Bolz-Weber, recorded Sept 5,2013. She is a Lutheran pastor of the house for All Sinners and Saints.

I was wowed by this broadcast. I have never seen a pastor so open about their past about being a sinner. Nadia is a tattooed ex-addict to drugs that one day realized her life has to change. She states,"she had a calling to be a pastor and even at my darkest hour I still had God in my heart." After becoming sober and putting her past behind her, she opened the Lutheran house of All Sinners and Saints.

For her with her past, she knows no matter what people have done and gone through you can always change yourself to be better. People who are ex-cons and felons are all welcome here. Most people that go here are looked at as indiffernt due to their hair, tattoos or the way they dress or do their makeup. This is a place where people can go here, worship God and not feel like anyone is starring or judging them. What most have in common, is their religion for believing in God and their reputation of being different. As Nadia states," Her house is to redefine what religion really is."

It was very interesting seeing a picture of this woman. I have always thought of a pastor as a professional looking, strict, but kind person. She looks like the outgoing girl, who runs free in the world with no care of what others think and living day by day. After listening to her talk she is very educated and well mannered and God loving woman. I can see why people go to her house of God.

The most interesting thing she talked about is how her service is run.She says instead of having a huge spot for herself , she sits amongst the people. She also gives the people the oppurtunity to do the literagy greeting or prayer of the day. As the members walk into the church they can just decide right there if they will be part of it for the day. I think this is an awesome thing, it shows not 1 person has to be worthy of this and they really do worship as a community. She says it makes them closer. What a great thing!

I found the second choice much more appealing and I'm glad to have made the switch. Nadia, the speaker, talks about taking religion to the next level or as I understood it, progressing with the times. She gives a very interesting point of view on how she believes god wants/is. She has a strong Lutheran back round which I found odd that she hung on to throughout her "transformation" I do not know much about the Lutheran religion, but it seemed almost contradictory. I always thought of Lutheran as a pretty cut and dry religion and one that shouldn't necessarily be "tampered" with.

She did a great job of explaining her point of view vs the typical point of view people and pastors have and it really made sense to me. One of the reasons I was turned off to church was I felt I had to act/look a certain way otherwise God or the pastor would not approve. It's really silly to me that so many people can focus on outward appearance and make so many judgments based on that alone. I like how she takes the focus of off the individual and focuses it more on the community, I think people including myself are too harsh on themselves and they not judge themselves in such a way as it often leads to them pushing away from the whole idea.

She says "innovation and tradition go hand in hand" I view this almost as enlightenment.. Wouldn't it be foolish to just follow in the footsteps of the past with out exploring, studying, and gaining a different knowledge/understanding along way, but at the same time cannot discount what has been established in the past.. This goes to my point of taking things as a team/community. God saved everyone, he bares the sins of everyone. I think it hurts more than helps when people single themselves out to such a degree they feel helpless and alone.

I really see this trend happening more and more. It's more about learning about god and understanding as opposed to judging and condemning, nothing wrong with drinking beer and loving god or having tats and loving god etc.. Though I still may not believe everything, I can admit, this "new aged" church movement has gotten me back in the doors.. People learn in different ways and people love god in different ways, What makes yours better than mine? (rhetorical question)

This was so relevant to our readings I was completely engrossed.

Nadia Boltz Weber is a woman who helped redefine and create and church and following for what seems to be the new generation of people. The sinners, we tattoo ourselves, pierce our body, have sex before marriage, have babies before as well and much more. Much of what she says really helped solidy my own beliefs.

She believes in intovating with integrity. She has solid traditions but merges them with innovating them. Being raised in the church she tell that they teach more to be really good at not misbehaving. Struggled with the identity of who God was, and what he beleived. Could never bring herself to be atheist because she knew there was someone.

She believes in death and ressurectiom which was relevent to our readings which was nice to hear about. Along with this in her group she welcomed sinners, the gays, gang members, emo, transgender, cross dressers, you name it were allowed here. She even became a little worried when what she called normal people, started to show up. They looked like soccer mom and dads dressed in nice clothes ect. When she got over her initial worry she asked them to share why they were here as they began to explain they believed in her message (which I will get to later) that they started to come. Then a boy who was gay spoke up and said this " I love that people who look like my mom and dad are here, because they can understand and love them like my own parents cannot"

Which brings me to her message which I LOVE. Jesus, was not jesus, The man on the cross was God, and even when bad things happen and we blame god for not being there to fix it, that rather God died on the cross to help us bear the bad. Even through everything horrible that happened to him, he died saying this, forgive them for they do not understand what they are doing. Which is a powerful message. We must accept everyone in their journey here on earth.

I loved her message of the new church, where we go and be oursleves, that its okay to have tattoos and to live life. To celebrate Easter with dancing music and laughter, that our message is the same in the strong routed tradition but we are okay to evolve ourselves. to personalize who we are as individuals in this ever changing world.